German industry hopes that Train drivers' strike huge problems also for freight transport companies. There was a threat of severe restrictions, including individual production shutdowns, cuts and industry shutdowns, it said Tanja Gönner, General Director of the Federal Association of German Industries. “In a six-day strike, a total amount of damage of up to one billion euros is not unrealistic.”
➤ See more information: First farmers, then railways: how protests and strikes are affecting Germany
In addition to the operational and economic damage, there would be “significant damage to the image” of the rail transport mode, Gönner said. “Doubts about the reliability of the railway infrastructure, which has already declined recently, continue to grow and the system is becoming less and less attractive to logistics decision-makers.”
The German Locomotive Drivers' Union (GDL) has called for a six-day strike until Monday in the collective dispute with Deutsche Bahn.
Machinists’ strike hits the “backbone” of numerous important German industries
Gönner described rail freight transport as the “backbone” of numerous key industries, such as the chemical, steel, automobile, paper and wood industries. The strike will particularly affect the connection and supply of production sites in the area, transport processes that depend on rail, such as the transport of dangerous goods, as well as deliveries of raw materials and exports.
➤ Read more: German train drivers are on strike: ÖBB advises postponing trips
The collective bargaining dispute must be resolved quickly. Rail freight transport is just starting to recover, following difficulties related to weather conditions. German industry is already in a fragile situation given the economic shutdown.
ÖBB connections are also affected by the German train drivers' strike – travelers can find out more about train cancellations on the ÖBB website.